A futuristic approach for the instantaneous and accurate Point-of-Care diagnosis will most likely be PCR based, says Dr Rajas Warke, R&D Director – Molecular Biology and Virology, Hi Media Laboratories Private Limited
Molecular Diagnostics (MDx) are techniques, which are used to detect and analyse DNA, RNA and protein molecules in order to provide the clinical information associated with a specific disease or a disorder. In the field of diagnostics, the level of automation has reached a point where molecular techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and micro arrays are fast replacing the traditional culture based detection to improve speed, accuracy and sensitivity of detection.
Simplicity and Speed can be defined as the main challenges faced in MDx in todays world of emerging and re-emerging infections. The conventional traditional detection techniques involve direct examination or culturing of the etiologic agents, which were fastidious, unculturable and bio-hazardous. Polymerase chain reaction has resolved many of these problems. This molecular detection method with its high sensitivity and specificity has allowed accurate detection of even a minute number of organisms.
With healthcare becoming increasingly available to a large number of people there is a greater need for faster detection techniques as the number of samples has increased significantly. This has led to the demand of mobile devices (portable, stand-alone, battery operated and ultra-light), which can be operated under different conditions at various geographical locations. There is also a dire need of a detection technique which would reduce the time of assays from hours to minutes, having better sensitivity and specificity as compared to the current rapid detection tests namely lateral flow and latex. Such technologies can prove to be very imperative to ensure that the line of treatment begins at the earliest.
A futuristic approach for the instantaneous and accurate Point-of- Care (PoC) diagnosis will most likely be PCR based.